The Charlotte Hornets announced Saturday that four players, including reigning Rookie of the Year LaMelo Ball, have entered League health and safety protocols.
According to League insider Shams Charania, Ball and Terry Rozier are expected to be out 10 days unless they test negatively for COVID-19 within 24 hours. News on Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels has yet to be released.
UPDATE: @hornets have placed the following players in the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols: LaMelo Ball, Jalen McDaniels, Mason Plumlee and Terry Rozier— Charlotte Hornets PR (@HornetsPR) December 4, 2021
ESPN League insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the team sent players and staff home due to internal concerns of more positive COVID-19 tests coming. In further response to the potential outbreak and to add more emergency depth, the Hornets recalled James Bouknight, Vernon Carey Jr., and Kai Jones from the Greensboro Swarm, their G-League affiliate.
The transactions will help the Hornets have the necessary eight players when they return to the court Sunday against the Hawks. Charlotte also has games this upcoming week against the Philadelphia 76ers (Monday and Wednesday) and the Sacramento Kings (Friday).
The NBA mandates that any player who has a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 must isolate away from his team for at least 10 days. Following that 10-day window, a player must undergo a cardiac screening and reconditioning in order to return to the team and court. A player can also clear protocols by recording two negative tests within 24 hours.
According to ESPN, since the season started, more than 20 players have been placed in the League’s health and safety protocols, including LeBron James. Last season nearly 30 games were postponed, but none were canceled due to COVID-19 reasons. The NBA hasn’t had to postpone a game thus far this season.
The Hornets (13-11) are currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings.